Vale Lance Endersbee (1925-2009): Humanity Loses a Champion


The world has lost one of the architects of its future, with the passing of Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee AO on Thursday.

In the Promethean task of building humanity’s future, in which the only power is ideas, Lance Endersbee was a Titan.

For his entire adult life, Lance wrought the infrastructure that sustains humanity in the present, and envisioned the infrastructure to sustain humanity in the future.

His career as a civil engineer spanned the wonderful Snowy Mountains Scheme, on which he worked under the great William Hudson whilst still an engineering student, Tasmania’s brilliant hydroelectric system, dam construction in the Mekong, engineering projects in the United States, and concluded as an educator-Dean of Engineering (1976-1988) and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Melbourne’s Monash University.

He was a world authority on rock behaviour and tunnelling, a former president of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and a recipient of its highest award, the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal.

Lance spent his active retirement self-funding surveying trips all over Australia, designing great infrastructure projects to see Australia into the future; he told a CEC conference in 1997 his motivation was witnessing his young engineering students forced to expand their course to include business and commerce options, only because, unlike the hands-on opportunity the Snowy Scheme afforded Lance as a student, for his own students there were no equivalent nation-building projects.

His designs included a Melbourne to Darwin fast-freight railway, an Australian Ring Railway, and an economically viable Clarence River hydroelectric power and irrigation scheme.

From 1997, Lance collaborated with the Citizens Electoral Council and U.S. physical economist Lyndon LaRouche to promote infrastructure projects for Australia and the world, as well as an understanding of the finite nature of a key global resource-underground water-and the need to develop new resources for humanity.

A true scientist as well as an engineer, Lance published a book of scientific investigation in 2005 the title of which captured his spirit: A Voyage of Discovery.

In that same spirit, Lance devoted his final years to debunking the superstition of man-made global warming, expressing to a CEC conference in 2007 his moral outrage at the Al Gore campaign’s anti-science decree that “the debate is over”.

Through his courage and tireless organisation, Lance played a leading role in destroying the myth of climate change “consensus”, and by his example encouraged other scientists to speak-up and take a stand; in his final months and weeks, Lance organised a scientific symposium on climate change, and produced a DVD of the proceedings.

In the scheme of history, Lance’s life truly mattered, and even though he succumbed to cancer at the age of 83, he has achieved immortality through his ideas, and the unique spirit that motivated them.

On behalf of the many thousands of Australians, and people all over the world, impacted by Lance’s life work, the people of the CEC extend their condolences and appreciation to Lance’s beloved wife Margaret, their children and grandchildren.

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